Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman has capped off a dream year, claiming a swag of accolades at the 2016 Cycling Australia Awards.
Hayman, who conquered the ‘Hell of the North’ on his 15th attempt just six weeks after breaking his wrist, then went on to complete his first full Tour de France and represent Australia at the World Championships in Qatar.
The 38-year-old won the Male Road Cyclist of the Year, the People’s Choice Award and the coveted Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman Medal and Trophy for the 2016 Australian Cyclist of the Year.
“My life has changed and my career has been validated in many ways,” Hayman said. “I feel more confident when racing, like the weight of having to prove myself has been lifted.”
“For some reason 2016 has been the culmination of my whole career, winning Paris Roubaix and finishing the Tour have been dreams come true. I feel like all the riding I have ever done over all those years, all came together, it has also been a lot of fun.”
World championship bronze medallist Katrin Garfoot took out the Female Road Cyclist of the Year award.
Hayman is the first ORICA-BikeExchange rider to win the Australian Cyclist of the Year Award since Simon Gerrans won in 2014. He also joins the likes of Cadel Evans, Anna Meares and inaugural winner Russell Mockridge.
“The Oppy award is recognition from Australia that you are among the very elite,” Hayman acknowledged. “It caps off a year of firsts for me and it is a privilege to be among the past winners.”
“To be recognised among the cream of Australian cyclists who have performed on the world stage winning world championships, Olympic medals and Grand Tours is a true honour.”